Franklin Arsenal Wet Tumbler ?

EddieZoom

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Anybody use the Franklin Arsenal wet tumbler ? The results look spectacular...I'm just not sure wet/pin tumbling is for me. My *old* Lyman still does an "ok" job (think "satin" finish vs "semi-gloss") but after the last batch I'm starting to feel the need for something new.

 

Queen Bee

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I love wet tumbling for brass. I use a smaller jewelry tumbler so i do not know about the frankford one. It does have a nice mesh screen adapter.

It is time consuming to let shake each piece of brass and make sure there are no pins, but the upside is, you will basically never need to pay again for media. 2 sets of SS pins will last you forever. The outcome is always perfect shiny like new brass everytime
 

vicorjh

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How much pistol brass (say 9MM) can you do at one time ?
Their website says capacity to 4lbs. of brass. Don't know what that equates to in 9MM but what @nstassel estimates sounds about right. I've probably done around 200 6.5 creedmoor cases at a time without an issue.

The metal drum has ~1/4inch molded rubber insert which is quite nice.
WP_20200719_004.jpg


WP_20200719_001.jpg
 
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EddieZoom

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Their website says capacity to 4lbs. of brass. Don't know what that equates to in 9MM but what @nstassel estimates sounds about right. I've probably done around 200 6.5 creedmoor cases at a time without an issue.

The metal drum has ~1/4inch molded rubber insert which is quite nice.
View attachment 373830


View attachment 373829
About ~115 9MM cases per pound so a little less than 500, but still that's pretty good.
 

ManOnTarget

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I have this tumbler. I use about 5lbs of SS pin media and a combination of dawn dish soap, armorall wash n wax, and a touch of lemishine. I usually tumble 1.5k 9mm cases for about 3-5 hours. After the tumbler I pull them out, rinse them off with Deionized water (key to not get spotted brass) and shake them in a big towl to "knock" the water off. Then they go into the oven for about 30min at as low a temperature as I can possibly get (~150F or so).

I try and not let the brass see tap water, mine is especially hard water and I tend to get spottier brass if I do that. Don't over do the lemishine, your brass will look cloudy. I find the wash n wax helps keep the brass shiny longer, its really been a nice touch.
IMG_6372.JPG
 

ManOnTarget

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Do you de-prime before cleaning ? How do you separate brass from pins from dirty water ? Drying brass ?
Drying brass is above. Caution, I have read other places to NOT get the brass too hot. Certainly don't want to aniel it or change the structural integrity.

I use the frankfort magnet as seen in the top left of the above photo to seperate out the pins. It works REALLY well.

As for depriming first, I used to do that. Then alot of people I shoot with said it was unnecessary so I stopped. I am many thousands of rounds post depriming and I haven't seen an issue (but I have saved a time-consuming step). Typically I only shoot my brass a couple of times so I dont think that is really enough to get a gunked up primer pocket.

As for the load size, the above photo is one load. I usually completely fill a 1g ziplock with one load (maybe a little leftover as well).
 

Fixxah

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Inuse a Thumblers Tumbler. After a rinse, I stand all the cases up in a milsurp spam can and use a heat gun to blow dry the brass. The brass is super clean but not as accurate as dry tumbled brass. The neck soot aids in accuracy I believe.
 
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Mind sharing your process ?

Do you de-prime before cleaning ? How do you separate brass from pins from dirty water ? Drying brass ?

Thx.
Yes deprime. Lemishine and Dawn with water. I have a Cabela's rotary brass separator. https://www.cabelas.com/shop/en/cabelas-rotary-brass-media-separator
I pour off the water as much water as I can before I put it in the separator. I use a Franklin magnet to pull the pins out. Once pins are out I thoroughly rinse cases in a plastic container.
Cabela's has the tumbler on sale for $140!
 
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pastera

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I don't use the pins much - they work awesome and speed up the cleaning but are a pain to separate ( I haven't used a tumbling separator)
I'm using a HF dual drum - two pounds of 9mm/38/380 or 70% full of 45acp.
Maybe a quarter 9mm case of lemishine and a squirt of dish soap (~1/2 teaspoon).
Tumble for an hour
I printed a cover for the drums with window screen (STL on request) that lets me drain/rinse without losing pins.
Dump into a 6x9 mesh tray and place on top of a fan - dry in an hour.
 

wegman

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I have the F.A.R.T. but it's a PITA for me. Usually just deprime, tumble in walnut. Then lube & size/trim (Dillon RT1500) tumble off the lube in corn. Uniform primer pockets, swage if military & prime the cases.
I like the FART (Franklin Arsenal Rotary Tumbler) for dirty range brass. Otherwise it sits. When i do use it, I use Armorall, Lemishine (9mm case full) run for 3 1/2 hrs, put the sifter ends on and wash thru into a 5 gal bucket so as not to lose the pins. I separate the pins in a water-filled RCBS all plastic rotary squirrel cage. Gets EVERY pin out of every case. Then shake the cases off in a bath towel and put them in a food dehydrator to dry for an hour. They are UFB clean. (Un-f'n Believably Clean!) Then I do my PP uniforming and swaging. Lube and size, corn tumble and prime. Thats just me... :)
You do you...
 

Broccoli Iglesias

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Anybody use the Franklin Arsenal wet tumbler ? The results look spectacular...I'm just not sure wet/pin tumbling is for me. My *old* Lyman still does an "ok" job (think "satin" finish vs "semi-gloss") but after the last batch I'm starting to feel the need for something new.

I use the Franford Arsenal. I love it. I have done around 30-40 loads so far, no issues.
 

Broccoli Iglesias

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Mind sharing your process ?

Do you de-prime before cleaning ? How do you separate brass from pins from dirty water ? Drying brass ?

Thx.
Drying: 30-40min at the lowest setting in the oven. Mine goes down to 170.

Separating: I have a thing that looks like those plates people used for gold, but it has holes for the pins. I dump all the brass, shake it and done in less than 3min. I put a tray under it for the pins, then dump the pins back in the tumbler.

Washing: Dawn + Lemishine. Easy.
 

Gusp

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Citric acid is the primary active ingredient in Lemi Shine, and cheaper by the pound. It's good for other types of cleaning, descaling plumbing parts and brass polishing around the house too, but can put holes in your clothes if you aren't careful. I also use some version of car wash + wax. Brass is shiny, slick and resists staining.

I always deprime before wet tumbling. Seems like getting the pins out would be a lot harder, and drying very difficult if one didn't, but that's the only way I've ever done it. A cleaning screen that fits in a bucket to rinse the brass, and a retractable magnet for picking up the magnetic stainless steel pins are invaluable.

I also got a Lee universal depriming die so all I need to do is change shell holders and I can deprime just about anything easily and don't have to deal with depriming when I'm loading.

I have the old Thumlers tumbler the Rebel is modeled after. The Rebel has a couple improvements like the roller bearings and thumbscrews, but I believe the barrel and liner are interchangeable between the two.
 
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Love mine. I deprime using Lee decapping die. I use SS pins and a little dawn and lemishine. When it’s done, I screw on the included brass separator, rinse a few times and shake out the water and pins over a 5 gallon bucket with a “panning screen” insert I bought off of Amazon. It allows the water to drain in the bucket but captures the pins in the sifting pan. I bought a cheap dehydrator for drying my brass. Works great and as others have said, no more media or lead dust to worry about. Cleans everything including the primer pocket.
 

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Bladerunner

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Drying brass is above. Caution, I have read other places to NOT get the brass too hot. Certainly don't want to aniel it or change the structural integrity.

I use the frankfort magnet as seen in the top left of the above photo to seperate out the pins. It works REALLY well.

As for depriming first, I used to do that. Then alot of people I shoot with said it was unnecessary so I stopped. I am many thousands of rounds post depriming and I haven't seen an issue (but I have saved a time-consuming step). Typically I only shoot my brass a couple of times so I dont think that is really enough to get a gunked up primer pocket.

As for the load size, the above photo is one load. I usually completely fill a 1g ziplock with one load (maybe a little leftover as well).
Where is the time-saving? You still have to deprime right?
 
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Gusp

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Love mine.
Sounds like a nice system as you describe it. If I didn't already have my Thumlers that is probably what I would do, too.

For anyone one the fence, I think the best things to recommend the Thumlers / Rebel design is that it is very compact and the fact that if something did go wrong one could presumably find a way to fix it with a new motor or whatever. If you've got plenty of space and can avoid dropping heavy objects on it those may well be non issues and the Frankford (not Franklin) would probably serve you well.
 

cjrubes

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I've been using the FA rotary tumbler lite lately. Smaller capacity but it works just fine for me....I usually don't have huge piles of dirty brass waiting to be cleaned. I try to get my brass cleaned soon after each range session.

I use stainless steel pins, Dawn and a sprinkle of Lemishine when I tumble. After an hour or two I pull the brass out, separate the pins from the brass, dry the brass in a towel, and the last step is to stick them in a food dehydrator that I got cheap off Amazon. I haven't had any issues with water-spotted brass.

I usually leave the primers in for pistol brass but rifle brass I decap first (especially for semi-auto rifles...I want to make sure the primers seat deep enough to avoid slamfires)
 

EddieCoyle

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Does your ammo shoot better with super clean brass?

I've found the opposite to be true with any ammo that matters.

And I have data that backs it up.

ETA: This type of thread amuses me. Who cares how clean your brass gets if it doesn't shoot any better - especially pistol brass? If I get 2 MOA out of handgun rounds I'm jumping for joy because I can't shoot better than that (also, how clean it is doesn't matter).

I've done a lot of experimentation with rifle brass and I've found that dry tumbled brass averages 1/8 MOA better groups vs. wet tumbled brass, and I challenge anyone to dispute this. Unless you're lubing your necks with mica, you are wasting time to make less accurate ammo. Even if you're lubing your necks with mica, you're performing two extra steps for no gain. Dry tumble. You save two steps. No need to decap first, and no need to dry them off. (OK, you save one step unless you're in a hurry and don't plan to lube the necks, but if you wet tumble, dry, and lube, you save three steps).
 
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Broccoli Iglesias

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on "dirty looking" vs "super shiny" brass ...

I can't speak for handgun ammo, but I can speak for some rifle ammo.

Before wet tumbling, I was using an ultrasonic to clean 45/70 brass reloaded with black powder.

I used to shoot, leave the brass in a box and maybe a couple of days later (sometimes a week later) throw it in the ultrasonic. Then reload and do it again.

After 6 or 7 reloads, the brass looked like it came from a WWI trench. It was nasty looking, but, the walls didn't have any build up of powder, the brass just looked nasty. It shot the same as new brass.

So, as far as I can tell, how the brass looks doesn't matter (and that makes sense).

Now that I have a wet tumbler, it comes out shiny AF, and it shoots the same.

I do care how clean pistol brass is because they are smaller cases, I reload faster and I reload a lot more, so it is easier to miss something when looking at the brass. With the 45/70, I load one at a time in a single stage and rarely load over 100, so I take a look at the primer pockets, take a quick look inside and make sure it looks good.

The dirty brass had one disadvantage, it made it harder to see if any cracks were forming.
 
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76Too

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Thread drift warning...

Too many steps for wet tumbling for me. Aint nobody got time fo dat.

I dry tumble once when I get home from the range for an hour, and rifle gets done again for 10-15 minutes after sizing/trimming/priming.

Nothing beats the @mac1911 method of dropping the brass on the floor to get the loose dirt off and then reloading.
 

darrowj

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I got a coupon one day from Harbor Freight. I bought what they call a Rock Tumbler. A number of years ago I bought some steel pins in a group buy here on this site. I have been using them to wet tumble brass for the last six months. Works great.

I have been using lemon juice with it. I cannot find lemishine yet.

It is a PETA though. I mean having to let the brass sit and dry. Also the damn pins go everywhere.

Overall though the results are amazing. The brass looks great afterward. I will upgrade someday but am just too cheap right now. Folks tell me it is also safer from a lead standpoint because you are not dealing with air borne particles. I don't know the truth to that but it sounds possible.
 
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